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Let Them Eat Cracker Barrel: Big-City Dem Mayor Has Insulting Response to Residents Concerned About Tax Hike

Let Them Eat Cracker Barrel: Big-City Dem Mayor Has Insulting Response to Residents Concerned About Tax Hike

“Let them eat cake” — the phrase that has come to describe how preposterously the aristocracy is with the common man — is oft attributed to Marie Antionette, even though she likely never said it.

In fact, as the History Channel noted, the phrase was floating around for more than a century before the French Revolution did away with both Marie’s reign and her head. A version of the phrase — apocryphally uttered after the queen was told that the peasants had no bread — was reportedly uttered first by Marie-Thérèse, the Spanish princess who married French King Louis XIV in the 17th century. Whatever the case, the phrase gets trotted out whenever the elite get so out of touch with the rest of the world that they say something insipidly elitist, preferably involving food.

With that in mind, I propose a variation on the idiom for Milwaukee Democratic Mayor Cavalier Johnson: Let them eat Cracker Barrel.

Perhaps I should explain. On Jan. 1, the city of Milwaukee added a 2 percent sales tax. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, this was in part thanks to an effort to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in the city, as well as hosting other events.

In neighboring Washington County, Wisconsin, the executive is Republican Josh Schoemann, who describes himself on his campaign page as a “small government courageous conservative.” While Washington County also sales tax of 0.5 percent, that still makes things cheaper for those who shop there — 5.5 percent vs. 7.9 percent in Milwaukee. (Wisconsin has a base 5 percent sales tax, which makes up the bulk of that.) He’s blamed the tax increases in Milwaukee on “generational bad government.”

Schoemann has been taking to social media to promote his county over the city of Milwaukee as a shopping and eating destination, given the city’s massive tax hike.

“I warmly welcome all of our Milwaukee County neighbors to Washington County to shop, dine & keep more of your money while doing it …” he said in a social media post on Dec. 29.

“Come to Washington County for the savings, stay for the quality of life! Exhibit A: In the City of Milwaukee, today you will pay an additional $60 for this bedroom set,” he posted on Jan. 1, with a link to an Ashley furniture set.

Milwaukee Mayor Johnson then decided to put a Hugo Boss Italian-made leather oxford shoe into his mouth.

“I thought [Schoemann’s comments] were unfortunate knowing that all communities need revenue,” the mayor told the Journal Sentinel.

“If folks are looking at a high-quality dinner or a theater or a fine dining experience, they can come here, or go to Cracker Barrel there.”

Talk about saying the quiet part out loud. He went on to say that the people of Washington County were “getting a boost” out of Milwaukee’s tax increase “as this is retaining the Brewers, and it helps a lot of people,” but I don’t think anyone was listening to that part.

“The working people who eat at Cracker Barrel are the same ones who will be paying your sales tax at Brewers, Bucks & Summerfest to bail out your poorly run govt, but by all means imply we’re deplorable,” Schoemann wrote in response. “The real tragedy is the hardship you’ve put on the working people in [Milwaukee].”

Mayor Johnson’s communications director tried to jiu-jitsu this into a win for Milwaukee: “Perhaps Mr. Schoemann ought to review the Mayor’s comments; no one here has suggested the people of Washington County are deplorable,” Jeff Fleming told Fox News.

Yeah, and Marc Antony was simply there to bury Caesar, not to praise him.

Apparently, the mayor’s office believes the rubes haven’t discovered subtext yet. In everything but the exact words, Johnson told Wisconsinites all they needed to know about how he feels about smaller-town folk: You can come here and wine and dine in chic (and expensive) style, even in these times of rampant inflation, or go eat chicken and dumplings with the Cracker Barrel blue-collar set. If you have the money and class, you’ll make the right decision and not wallow with the unwashed Washington County rabblement.

One hopes that Mayor Johnson doesn’t have his sights set on higher — especially statewide — office. That rabblement — along with the riff-raff from the rest of the state — will remember his “let them eat Cracker Barrel” moment and vote accordingly. Whether she uttered the infamous phrase or not, you see how that worked out for Marie Antoinette.

And, just by the way, Mayor Johnson: Cracker Barrel is delicious. You should try it sometime. Meanwhile, sensible Milwaukee residents and other Wisconsinites should patronize any and all Washington County chain locations — as well as any other business in the jurisdiction they please — on general principles. It helps that it’s cheaper there, too.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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